“Top Gun” Commissioning

By John D. Villani, PE CCP, BCxA President
Vice President, Grumman|Butkus Associates

In the battle against the pickup truck and drive-by commissioning process that we have discussed at length around commoditization of the commissioning industry, I would like to share another approach: “Top Gun” Commissioning!

Ladies and Gentlemen, you are the top 1 percent of all commissioning providers. The elite. The best of the best. You share the passion with the BCxA! We all face the real-life challenges of the commoditization of our industry and professional craft. However, one of the tactics to use to combat these threats is to be the best! By providing robust commissioning services that follow our best practices and other industry guidelines and standards, to deeply getting to know your clients’ organizations to have greater impact and benefits to owners, to using the latest technologies, tools and software platforms to deliver commissioning projects.

The BCxA Conference provided a great opportunity to see and learn more about products from our sponsors, and exhibitors like Building Start, CxAlloy, and Facility Grid. These platforms are getting deeply integrated into not only commissioning provider’s business models but even into large institutional owners’ organizations.

Providing greater insight into the threats was Chinook Systems President, Wanda Lenkewich, and her presentation on cyber security. Wanda’s story of testing a client’s site and finding a vulnerability in under 4 minutes was quite frankly extremely eye opening and scary. Monitoring Based Commissioning (MBCx), Fault Detection and Diagnostics (FDD) and Smart Analytics were quite the buzz this year with every session on this topic packed. The University of Iowa gave great real-world feedback on their pilot project, first 20 buildings and the next wave of 49 buildings. MBCx platform Copper Tree gave a detailed presentation on what and how these system work and, along with BuildingFit, KGS Building Solutions, were on hand to answer many technical questions in the Exhibit Hall.

Also, because of exhibitors like Intertek, LotusWorks, Onset, Pie Consulting and Engineering, RxMonitoring Services, and TSI Energy Solutions, we had the opportunity for one-on-one discussions about tools and technologies, from enclosures to systems monitoring and analysis, that differentiate us Cx providers as the best of the best!

Being in the “Top Gun” 1 percent means taking commissioning to the next level, recognizing and staying ahead of new threats, and learning and leveraging analytics to dig deep into all building systems, including building automation to drive efficiency and optimization. We would like to sincerely thank all of our exhibitors for their time, energy and contributions to the BCxA.

  1. Bryan W Welsh

    In my experience, the primary driver to commoditization or devaluing of this service is the practice of using cost as the primary or only selection criteria. Making selection by qualifications first would go along way to resolving this problem.

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